Everything AND Nothing works, any gurus out there?

Discussion in 'macOS High Sierra (10.13)' started by RadicalxEdward, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. RadicalxEdward, Sep 25, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017

    RadicalxEdward macrumors 6502

    RadicalxEdward

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    #1
    [​IMG]
    SYSTEM:
    Late 2011 MacBook Pro 15"
    Mac OS X High Sierra beta
    Dual hard drives (1x SSD in main bay, 1x HDD in CD bay)

    PROBLEM:
    Can't boot past grey screen. Gets halfway through apple/progress bar screen (as above), then goes ALL grey and stays there. Might be connected to beta as i think it first started having issues after a particular update, but not sure how considering it affects more than OS X. I feel like I've ruled everything out. Everything works fine, it just won't boot to anything (os x, windows, usb installer, usb installation of OS X, etc) or let me boot off something else to reinstall the OS. I would think if it was logic board, i wouldn't be able to get as far as i do or run hardware test or get in single user mode right?

    SYMPTOMS:
    Normal Boot: Boots to apple logo/progress bar, gets halfway through, goes to grey screen stops there.
    Safe Boot: Boots to apple logo/progress bar, gets halfway through, goes to grey screen stops there.
    USB Boot: Boots to apple logo/progress bar, gets 1/2 - 3/4 through, goes to grey screen stops there.
    Verbose Boot: Gets through all text, goes to grey screen, stops
    Single User: No errors detected
    Windows 10: Gets past start up animation, goes to black screen, stops.

    FAILED REMEDIES:
    Safe Mode: No result (repeatedly)
    Local Recovery: Don't see any partition for recovery, don't think they do that anymore.
    Online Recovery: No result (repeatedly) Can start it, but it fails at same point.
    Reset NVRAM: No result (repeatedly)
    Reset PRAM: No result (repeatedly)
    New Battery: No result
    New AC adapter: No result
    New RAM: No result
    Boot from USB OS X: No result
    OS X USB Installer: No result
    Disconnect SSD: No result
    Disconnect HDD: No result
    Disconnect all HDs: No result
    Remove RAM1: No result
    Remove RAM2: No result
    New RAM 1/2: No result

    OTHER TESTS:
    check disk in SUM: error, but fixed, then no error
    Hardware Test: No errors except non-apple brand battery when swapping (hold D when starting)
    Extended Test: No errors

    WHAT WORKS:
    Power
    Light on front
    Startup chime
    Single user mode (text)
    display
    Can detect USB installer, all HDs and bootcamp
    All ports seem to work
    Fans
    Can power off battery or adapter
    Hardware Test mode (hold D while starting, NOT the regular OS X recovery/diagnostic mode)
    Hard drives seem to work, haven't been able to put in another computer yet will try that today.


    Not sure what else to try. Any constructive suggestion is welcome.

    Thank you if you read this far.
     
  2. maverick808 macrumors 65816

    maverick808

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    Scotland
    #2
    Does it boot in to Sierra (10.12) if you boot that off an external USB drive?
     
  3. RadicalxEdward thread starter macrumors 6502

    RadicalxEdward

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    #3
    Unfortunately no. When the stock hard drive i had in it for years died, I was running OS X off that thumb drive. It was god awful slow, but it worked. Now it does the same thing as the internal drives. Get's ~half way through the progress bar on boot and then goes to grey screen. I think one time i saw it get to ~3/4 (maybe) but that's it. I can tell it's trying because it takes a lot longer to get to that point, but that's it.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 25, 2017 ---
    I've also tried getting pictures of the verbose boot to see if i could glean any clues from that, but it goes by so fast and then seems to finish and go to grey screen that i can't get a clear pic of what it's saying.
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    Could "RadeonGate" have anything to do with this...?
     
  5. fischersd macrumors 601

    fischersd

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2014
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    #5
    As it's both MacOS and Windows doing this, I'm wondering if you don't have a memory module that's messed up.

    But, I have to ask the obvious - what changed?? When did the problem present itself? That should always be your starting point.

    I'd make a USB bootable version of something like Hiren's Boot CD and run come 3rd party diagnostics suites.
     
  6. RadicalxEdward thread starter macrumors 6502

    RadicalxEdward

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    #6
    Not sure what this is. Haven't heard of it. My MBP is from 2011 though so i would doubt it.

    2 guesses for what changed.
    1. Beta update. I'm pretty sure there was a beta update and that's when i first had this type of issue, but resetting PRAM/NVRAM a few times would eventually get it going again (or it was a coincidence, but still) then one day it just stopped working and never gets past grey screen.
    2. I was having power adapter trouble at the time. I know 100% that it was the adapter itself, but it would charge sometimes and not others.

    however since other power adapters/batteries work, and the same issue happens in safe boot, internet recovery, usb boot and windows, I feel like i've ruled out both. I've ordered a new power adapter just in case, but that's more for if i can fix it to have a working one.


    Also for memory (RAM) I originally had 2x 4GB sticks in it from OWC. However, i've made the mistake of assuming hard drive failure when it was really ram on other laptops, so i re-installed the stock 2x 2GB sticks that came with the MBP and saw no difference. Also ran the hardware test (holding D at start) and it found no memory problems (at least with the apple RAM which is still in it)

    Really hoping it's not some individual component on logic board cause i'm trying to get a new phone for the first time in 6 years (iphone x) and i can't afford a new laptop (or $500 logic board) and phone
    --- Post Merged, Sep 25, 2017 ---
    I might be able to borrow a windows laptop to try to do this, but if i can't, i have nothing with which to make new bootable CD's / USB's with.
     
  7. fischersd macrumors 601

    fischersd

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2014
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    #7
    That it's happening in Windows as well usually means it really has nothing to do with MacOS. That suggests that there's a hardware problem. (well, there's another possibility - both OS's could be loading files from a shared volume, but I doubt you would have a configuration doing that...)

    Edit: But you're also having the same failure when booting from a USB. That pretty much takes any hard drives out of the equation.

    Have you just left it booting off of the USB (for a few hours), just to see what happens (if you give it a chance to work past the error conditions it's encountering)?
     
  8. RadicalxEdward thread starter macrumors 6502

    RadicalxEdward

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    #8
    mmmm....I might actually. Current setup is

    SSD (Main bay)
    SSDp1: Mac OS X High Sierra Beta
    SSDp2: Windows 10 via bootcamp
    HDD (CD bay)
    HDDp1: Mostly media, but (for mac) also used to be all of home folder except library folder until that user profile got corrupted and i started over with a new one and didn't do that. I'm 98% sure nothing from windows points to that drive but not positive. If i recall correctly, I read through all the "we can see whatever you're doing" crud in the windows setup, and never really got windows to a comfortable place to use after that. If i had a way of deleting that partition completely I would, and it would suck, a lot, but if i have to (and had a way to) i'd erase the entire SSD. What i can't erase is the HDD.
     
  9. fischersd macrumors 601

    fischersd

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2014
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    #9
    What if you just pop the HDD out. Boot up without it?
     
  10. RadicalxEdward thread starter macrumors 6502

    RadicalxEdward

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    #10
    This is the problem i keep having. It's like everything works, but it won't boot. Everything seems to work just enough to rule out it being broken.
    I've left both USB and internal SSD trying to boot overnight once or twice each and multiple times just for a couple hours for both.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 25, 2017 ---
    Tried that too. same problem. tried detatching both drives and going off USB, same problem. Detaching everything and trying to boot (which it obviously can't) i do get the no file system error, that's it.
     
  11. fischersd macrumors 601

    fischersd

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2014
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    #11
    Sorry to say, but you've removed all drives, booted off of USB, swapped out the memory and it STILL won't boot, that's pretty indicative that there's an issue with the system board. You've already done NVRAM/PRAM resets, so that eliminates the potential for any BIOS/Firmware level values causing the issue.

    This has me a little concerned:
    "2. I was having power adapter trouble at the time. I know 100% that it was the adapter itself, but it would charge sometimes and not others.

    however since other power adapters/batteries work, and the same issue happens in safe boot, internet recovery, usb boot and windows, I feel like i've ruled out both."

    You tried to use other power adapters to power your MacBook? Is this unit still using the magsafe connector or is there a different plug and different transformer in use? If you used a power adapter that uses a higher voltage or amperage than what the original adapter provided, that could cause damage to your system board.
     
  12. RadicalxEdward thread starter macrumors 6502

    RadicalxEdward

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    #12
    I was worried someone might say that.

    For the power adapter originally the cable with the magsafe was crap so I replaced that part. Worked great for a couple months then the adapter died. I started using a 3rd party MacBook adapter (lower wattage not higher but still not ideal) but if I remember correctly this started before I started using that adapter.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 25, 2017 ---
    I take pretty good care of my devices but 6 years is a long time these days. No water damage or drops or anything like that.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 25, 2017 ---
    Do you think it's worth buying a cheap hard drive and trying to install to that or is there a way to find out of the logic board is the issue? Or is that just a process of elimination type thing?
     
  13. eicca macrumors 6502

    eicca

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2014
    #13
    Put in a known good hard drive and try again. My mom's 2009 iMac wouldn't boot from USB. Removed drive. Still wouldn't boot. Tried safe mode, verbose, recovery, etc etc etc. Nothing at all worked until I put in the drive I took out of my MacBook years ago. Booted just fine. Have since ordered a new drive for that iMac and it's back up and running perfect.
     
  14. RadicalxEdward thread starter macrumors 6502

    RadicalxEdward

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    #14
    hope at last! lol I don't think i have any spare working drives unless i can find the stock 250gb drive it came with 6 years ago, but maybe i'll just order a drive and if it doesn't work i can use it for backing up to.
     
  15. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #15
    OP wrote:
    "Not sure what this is. Haven't heard of it. My MBP is from 2011 though so i would doubt it."

    Nope.
    RadeonGate is EXACTLY about 2011 15" (and 17") MacBook Pros.

    I strongly suggest that you research this.

    One other suggestion:
    Boot from an EXTERNAL drive (can be either hard drive or USB flash drive).
    Can you boot this way?
    (Idea is to bypass internal drives completely)
     
  16. RadicalxEdward thread starter macrumors 6502

    RadicalxEdward

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    #16
    thanks ill look into it.
    also booting from external drives have same problem.
     
  17. RadicalxEdward thread starter macrumors 6502

    RadicalxEdward

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    #17
    I think this is exactly what the issue is. I don't have long to type before it crashes again, but it started working a couple days ago and then now today it's starting to crash every few minutes, going to a blue screen with lines down it or a black screen and then resetting itself. Can't afford a new logic board. Has anyone heard of apple not charging to fix this or no? like any recalls?
    --- Post Merged, Oct 16, 2017 ---
    I can't find a ton of info on radeongate. Most things I find are people just saying they have failing graphics cards, which basically kills the whole logic board, but no detailed descriptions of symptoms or what they did to fix if anything. I saw one person say they had logic board replaced, but they didn't say if they paid or not (and it was from 2015) and others said that would only delay it happening again (though I can't tell if this affects all 2011 mbp's or just random ones.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 16, 2017 ---
    Seems like Fishrrman got it. I didn't think this could be it because I didn't seem to be having graphics related problems, however now all the symptoms match and my laptop is too old to be repaired and it's not worth $500 to replace the logic board even though I really like this laptop. Guess it's days are numbered. how lame. If I wasn't about to get an iPhone X I'd get a new laptop, but I need a phone more at the moment and it'll be a while until I can afford a new laptop (this was the first brand new one I ever bought and probably will be the last for the foreseeable future.)
     
  18. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #18
    OP:

    If the logic board has gone bad on you due to RadeonGate, the only real solution is to replace the MacBook. Not worth the expense of fixing any more.

    Apple has a very weak track record on MacBooks with "discrete" GPU's.
    RadeonGate represents the nadir of their production history. Unfortunately, it did not reveal itself as a problem until after everyone had bought theirs.

    I've bought only MacBook Pros with integrated (non-discrete) GPU's, and never had graphics problems with any of them...
     
  19. RadicalxEdward thread starter macrumors 6502

    RadicalxEdward

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    #19
    Soooo I managed to fix it with only 1 small side effect (at least that I can tell thus far) which is that I can no longer control the backlight brightness. I can't tell if it's on full or not, but it's plenty bright enough for indoor use and was never really bright enough for outdoor use during the day. I'm using an app called shades that will do a black (or any color) overlay on the screen to mimic brightness controls, but I haven't found any software to control the actual backlight. (pref pane doesn't have the slider either)

    that being said, I removed the resistor on the logic board that leads to the voltage controller for the dedicated gpu (ie, no power to dGPU) and made some tweaks to the EFI. End result is a completely disabled dGPU, but a working laptop.

    I found out what to do here. Might be worth adding the directions to this post in case that site ever goes down.

    Here's some pics for reference:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    (compared to US Quarter. it's the black/silver object under the U)
    [​IMG]

    (15" MBP location)
    [​IMG]
     
  20. antonypg macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    #20
    I took my MacBook 2011 15" to the Apple Store last year. It kept crashing at various points, normally with corrupted display. As it was a known problem they replaced the motherboard (and the battery!!!) free of charge. I live in the UK and I believe most electronic devices are guaranteed for 5 or 6 six years under European law. It is always worth spending five minutes in an Apple Store just to see what they will fix.
     
  21. RadicalxEdward thread starter macrumors 6502

    RadicalxEdward

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    #21
    That's because last year apple was still doing the extended repair for them. They're no longer doing it because it's been 6 years since release.

    This is the official page on apple for the repairs for RadeonGate, which now only covers 2012-2013 models.
    https://www.apple.com/support/macbookpro-videoissues/

    From what i've seen, the new motherboards they use to fix them isn't made any differently, so they will eventually have the same problem.but if you get 5 years out of the first logic board and 5 years out of the second, you'll probably be replacing the whole laptop by then anyway. You just don't know if it will last 5 years or 1
     

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20 September 25, 2017